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Public transport planning starts as region gets ready for Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022


As Birmingham gears up to welcome home Commonwealth Games heroes this weekend, transport chiefs are starting work on getting the city ready for when it hosts the games in four years’ time.

The Games’ baton is now with Birmingham and preparations are underway, starting with a ‘Homecoming’ public party in Victoria Square on Saturday.

Public transport was key in moving millions of people to and from the various sporting events around Australia’s Gold Coast in Queensland.

Anne Shaw, director of network resilience for Transport for West Midlands’ (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), was part of the Birmingham 2022 delegation at the Games observing how the massive operation was put into practice.

Events at the Birmingham games will take place at venues across the city and in locations such as Sandwell, Coventry and Leamington Spa.

Anne Shaw, director of network resilience for Transport for West Midlands’ (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, was part of the delegation at the Commonwealth Games observing how the massive operation was put into practice.

She said: "The various agencies involved in transport in the state of Queensland and City of Gold Coast worked together really well to ensure that the roads, trams and rail services keep moving.

"They had some early issues but that is to be expected because their network is different to ours in the sense they have one main route for each of the transport types - and they responded to improve where needed.

"The communication to encourage public transport use for the Games was a huge success and what we've learned is that we need to strike the balance so people know the city is still open for business as well as hosting such an important international event.

"We will now start our transport modelling in earnest so the Commonwealth Games have a transport system that works for citizens, business, spectators, athletes, officials and media alike.”

On Saturday (April 21) Birmingham will throw the ‘Homecoming’ party in Victoria Square from midday until 5pm outside the Council House.

A host of Team England athletes are expected to attend the free public event.

It will feature music including Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers, who will perform Jerusalem, Team England’s official anthem, plus dance and sports events for all the family.

For travel information on how to get to the event go to the Network West Midlands website.